Mortgage Market Really Is Picking Up, Says Forecaster..

Date Published 13 May 2013



House purchase lending rose 2% in April, one of the industry’s most accurate forecasters has predicted.

E.surv, a surveying and valuations practice that is part of LSL, is predicting that house purchase approvals rose from 53,504 to 54,364 in April – the second consecutive monthly increase, as the mortgage market continued on a trajectory of recovery.

House purchase lending is predicted to be 6% higher than in April 2012, and is 5% higher than the average monthly lending figure over the past year of 51,536.

The firm – which extrapolates from its own data – forecasts that the improvement in April is the latest in a series of signs that the mortgage market may finally be beginning to recover and, says e.surv, reflects the success of the Funding for Lending Scheme in helping lenders boost mortgage availability and gear new mortgages towards first-time buyers.

The number of loans issued on the cheapest properties worth under £125,000 (typical first-time buyer housing stock) is forecast to be up only very slightly year on year – 11,960 in April this year, compared with 11,809 last April.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said: `The mortgage market is at its strongest since the financial crisis.

`However, tight lending criteria and high costs of living continue to limit the growth of the first-time buyer market. The weakness of the economy is a lead weight round the neck of the mortgage market, and is stopping more significant improvements.

`Tough criteria are still a road block for many, and high inflation and weak wage growth still mean it is very hard for buyers to save for a deposit.`